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Diesel DeNOx Catalyst

New Argonne-Developed Catalyst Can Reduce NOx Emissions From Diesel Engines by 80–85%

Argonne National Laboratory

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Inventor Chris Marshall shows the new catalyst that could help remove nitrogen oxides from diesel engine exhaust while saving energy.
Inventor Chris Marshall shows the new catalyst that could help remove nitrogen oxides from diesel engine exhaust while saving energy.

Argonne’s Sundar Krishnan (left), Steve Ciatti (center), and Chris Marshall (foreground, right) working with the equipment that will be used to engine-test the Cu-ZSM-5 catalyst.
Argonne’s Sundar Krishnan (left), Steve Ciatti (center), and Chris Marshall (foreground, right) working with the equipment that will be used to engine-test the Cu-ZSM-5 catalyst.

Technology Marketing SummaryThe United States consumed about 50 billion gallons of diesel fuel in 2006. Because diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines, the use of diesel fuel is expected to continue to expand. With increased diesel use and the EPA’s new, stringent regulations on smog-causing pollutants, Argonne’s new catalyst is a timely breakthrough. The diesel DeNOx catalyst removes 80–85% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel fuel combustion by converting NOx to nitrogen, a harmless compound that makes up about 78% of the atmosphere. With its lower expected manufacturing and installation costs, ease of use, and significant market potential, the Argonne catalyst is positioned to deliver the environmental—and economical—benefits needed to reduce our global industrial “footprint.”DescriptionThe high conversion rate of the Argonne catalyst results from its effective interaction with hydrocarbons in diesel fuel; the diesel fuel itself reduces NOx to nitrogen. This capability is important because it eliminates the need for onboard storage of additional chemicals, such as the ammonia, urea, or “swing” catalysts that competing technologies use.

The new catalyst was developed by coating a commercially available catalyst (the zeolite, copper-ZMS-5) with cerium oxide, which reduced the temperature at which the maximum conversion of NOx reduction takes place. Because this lower temperature is typical of the temperature of diesel exhaust, the new catalyst can achieve impressive NOx-to-nitrogen conversion rates using the heat supplied by the engine. The cerium oxide coating also improves the catalyst’s long-term stability and exhibits increased (rather than decreased) performance in the presence of water vapor, making it ideal for use in automotive/truck exhaust systems where water is always present.

Another important feature is that the catalyst system can be easily attached — or “retrofitted” —to existing diesel-powered vehicles in a simple process that would take the vehicle off the road for less than one day. Thus, the catalyst can be installed not only on the assembly line for new diesel vehicles, but on existing sources of NOx emissions as well. The fleet of 11 million diesel-powered vehicles on the road represents a sizable and ready market for the diesel DeNOx catalyst.
Benefits
  • Catalyst system uses on-board diesel fuel or #2 heating oil for regeneration; no additional fluids or complicated engineering controls are needed
  • Easy-to-use system with a long lifetime (400,000 miles), and requires minimal space on the truck chassis
  • Materials used to produce the catalyst are inexpensive and relatively nontoxic
  • Performance of the system improves with the presence of water vapors
  • Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel actually extends the life of the catalyst technology
Applications and Industries
  • Vehicles (diesel)
  • Stationary and portable power
  • Fossil fuel power plants
  • Chemical plants
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 7,220,692
Patent
7,220,692
Catalyst for selective NO.sub.x reduction using hydrocarbons
A two phase catalyst is disclosed with one or more transition metals such as Cu, Co, Fe, Ag and Mo supported on a molecular sieve having a pore size not greater than 8 .ANG. along with a stabilizing oxide of one or more of the oxides of Zr, Mo, V, Nb or the rare earths coating the molecular sieve. A method of preparing the two phase catalyst and using same to remediate NO.sub.x in combustion gases is also described.
Argonne National Laboratory 05/22/2007
Issued
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
Development - Prototype units in testingAvailable - This catalyst technology is licensed in some fields of use and available for license in the remaining fields.06/02/201003/25/2011

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To: Elizabeth Brewer<ebrewer@anl.gov>